By Laura Cohen
Work sucks, but us broke college students need cash one way or another. What’s one thing that makes work less miserable? Hot co-workers, of course. The media often makes co-worker relationships seem natural. Love can bloom where you least expect it, according to The Proposal. And how about The Office, anyone? You may think you’re the next Jim and Pam, but things don’t always work out that way.
Canoodling with a co-worker can be risqué, or just plain risky. Let’s distinguish between the work settings.
Casual Summer Job:
Pro: When working somewhere low-pressure, such as a local ice cream shop, summer camp, diner, etc., you’re likely to bond with co-workers and are likely to want more than just a work relationship with one (or a few) of them. And it’s easy, since you can spend most of your time flirting and won’t get in trouble, because no one gives a shit about his or her work here.
Con: People often form tightly knit groups of friends at these easy, breezy summer jobs. When you date someone and things turn sour, you’re stuck with an awkward situation, ruining the group chemistry for everyone.
The verdict: Go for it. Maybe things will work out and you’ll get voted cutest couple at the convenience store. If not, remember these jobs come and go and chances are you won’t work at the same place next summer. Unless it’s one of those sleepaway camp cults—then you’ll end up cursing out your ex about his or her scheming, kniving ass around the children, sufficiently enough to get fired.
Pro: You spend most of the day fetching coffee, making copies, and sorting mail. A cute fellow intern can brighten up even the worst of days, and your “coy” flirting at the morning meetings can make all the difference.
Con: Internships are competitive, and whoever you’re seeing could easily stab you in the back tomorrow to impress the boss.
The verdict: No matter how bad you want it, it’s best to resist this. Now is the time to make a good impression on your higher-ups, not fellow measly interns. Be the best damn coffee fetcher you can be. Once you’re actually making money and not just earning school credit or a stipend, you can try mixing business with pleasure.
“Real World” Job:
Pro: Just admit it, you’ve had a fantasy about doing some hot secretary on your desk in the office. Where else do you think the “CEO’s and Office Hoes” party theme came from? There’s something hot about a power couple that appear sophisticated and successful in the conference room, although they’re both thinking about the hot rendezvous they had in the supply closet during their last break.
Con: If you think you’re sticking at this place for a while, remember you’re stuck with this guy or girl too—for better or for worse. If it doesn’t work out, there’s literally no escaping them and you’ll dread work even more.
The verdict: Proceed with caution. If you’re just too horny to keep it in your pants from 9 to 5 (which I know many of you are), avoid prospects in your department and go for someone you won’t have to see ALL the time. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, anyway.
Warning: Unless you’re planning to make a living filing sexual harassment claims, stick to someone in a similar position level as yours. If they’re a step down or a step up in the company, it’ll do. But don’t get involved with anyone important enough to fire you. Because if they do, you’ll always be wondering if it was because you didn’t do your job well, or didn’t do well enough at your, uh, other daily tasks. We Jerks have enough wit, charm and sass to make it on our own—without screwing the boss.